Squatting to become illegal
From September 1, squatting in residential properties is to become a criminal offence with penalties of up to 6 months in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine.
Currently squatting is a civil offence and landlords have often faced extensive legal battles to reclaim their properties. However after receiving Royal Ascent the new legislation will now make it easier for homeowners to prove that their home is being occupied unlawfully.
However, landlords whose properties are going to be unoccupied for a long period of time should still take the necessary precautions including; shutdown power/gas, drain water pipes and notify insurers.